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Psychology branches and sub-fields

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Psychology of religion. Psychology of religion consists of the application of psychological methods and interpretive frameworks to religious traditions, as well as to both religious and irreligious individuals.

Psychology of religion

The science attempts to accurately describe the details, origins, and uses of religious beliefs and behaviors. Although the psychology of religion first arose as a self-conscious discipline as recently as the late 19th century, all three of these tasks have a history going back many centuries before that.[1] Many areas of religion remain unexplored by psychology. While religion and spirituality play a role in many people’s lives, it is uncertain how they lead to outcomes that are at times positive, and at other times negative. Thus, the pathways and outcomes that underlie these associations (and sometimes causations) need additional research.

Behavioural genetics. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts is a quarterly peer-reviewed academic journal published by the American Psychological Association on behalf of Division 10.

Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts

Behavioral economics. There are three prevalent themes in behavioral finances:[3] Issues in behavioral economics[edit] Behavioral finance[edit] The central issue in behavioral finance is explaining why market participants make systematic errors contrary to assumption of rational market participants.[1] Such errors affect prices and returns, creating market inefficiencies.

Behavioral economics

It also investigates how other participants take advantage (arbitrage) of such market inefficiencies. Behavioral finance highlights inefficiencies such as under- or over-reactions to information as causes of market trends (and in extreme cases of bubbles and crashes). Other key observations include the asymmetry between decisions to acquire or keep resources, known as the "bird in the bush" paradox, and loss aversion, the unwillingness to let go of a valued possession. Quantitative behavioral finance[edit] Quantitative behavioral finance uses mathematical and statistical methodology to understand behavioral biases.

Behavioral neuroscience. Behavioral neuroscience, also known as biological psychology,[1] biopsychology, or psychobiology[2] is the application of the principles of biology (in particular neurobiology), to the study of physiological, genetic, and developmental mechanisms of behavior in humans and non-human animals.

Behavioral neuroscience

It typically investigates at the level of neurons, neurotransmitters, brain circuitry and the basic biological processes that underlie normal and abnormal behavior. Often, experiments in behavioral neuroscience involve non-human animal models (such as rats and mice, and non-human primates) which have implications for better understanding of human pathology and therefore contribute to evidence-based practice.

Biological psychology sub-fields

Clinical psychology sub-fields. Cognitive Psychology. Communication. Comparitive Psychology. Criminology. Cultural Psychology. Evolutionary Psychology. Experimental psychology. Experimental psychology refers to work done by those who apply experimental methods to the study of behavior and the processes that underlie it.

Experimental psychology

Experimental psychologists employ human participants and animal subjects to study a great many topics, including, among others sensation & perception, memory, cognition, learning, motivation, emotion; developmental processes, social psychology, and the neural substrates of all of these.[1] History[edit] Early experimental psychology[edit] Wilhelm Wundt[edit] Experimental psychology emerged as a modern academic discipline in the 19th century when Wilhelm Wundt introduced a mathematical and experimental approach to the field.

Charles Bell[edit] Charles Bell was a British physiologist, whose main contribution was research involving nerves. Ernst Heinrich Weber[edit] Weber was a German physician who is credited with being one of the founders of experimental psychology. Where. Feminine psychology. Feminine psychology is an approach to psychology that focuses on issues concerning gender, female human identity, and the issues that women face throughout their lives.

Feminine psychology

Motherhood vs. career[edit] One dynamic outlined by feminine psychologists is the balancing act that women partake in between the more traditional role of motherhood and the more modern one of a career woman. Health psychology. Health psychology is the study of psychological and behavioral processes in health, illness, and healthcare.[1] It is concerned with understanding how psychological, behavioral, and cultural factors contribute to physical health and illness.

Health psychology

Psychological factors can affect health directly. For example, chronically occurring environmental stressors affecting the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis, cumulatively, can harm health. Behavioral factors can also affect a person's health. For example, certain behaviors can, over time, harm (smoking, excessive alcohol consumption) or enhance health (exercise, low fat diet).[2] Health psychologists take a biopsychosocial approach.

In other words, health psychologists understand health to be the product not only of biological processes (e.g., a virus, tumor, etc.) but also of psychological (e.g., thoughts and beliefs), behavioral (e.g., habits), and social processes (e.g., socioeconomic status and ethnicity).[2] Industrial and organizational psychology. Industrial and organizational psychology (also known as I–O psychology, occupational psychology, work psychology, WO psychology, IWO psychology and business psychology) is the scientific study of human behavior in the workplace and applies psychological theories and principles to organizations.

Industrial and organizational psychology

I-O psychologists are trained in the scientist–practitioner model. I-O psychologists contribute to an organization's success by improving the performance, satisfaction, safety, health and well-being of its employees. Intelligence. Intelligence is most widely studied in humans, but has also been observed in non-human animals and in plants.


Artificial intelligence is the simulation of intelligence in machines. Within the discipline of psychology, various approaches to human intelligence have been adopted. The psychometric approach is especially familiar to the general public, as well as being the most researched and by far the most widely used in practical settings.[1] Masculine psychology. Attaining manhood[edit] Jungian analysts Guy Corneau and Eugene Monick argue that the establishment and maintenance of the male identity is more delicate and fraught with complication than that of the establishment and maintenance of the female identity.

Masculine psychology

[citation needed] Such psychologists suggest that this may be because men are born of the female body, and thus are born from a body that is a different gender from themselves. Women, on the other hand, are born from a body that is the same gender as their own. Camille Paglia declares: A woman simply is, but a man must become. Masculinity is risky and elusive. Moral psychology. Moral psychology is a field of study in both philosophy and psychology. Some use the term "moral psychology" relatively narrowly to refer to the study of moral development.[1] However, others tend to use the term more broadly to include any topics at the intersection of ethics, psychology, and philosophy of mind.[2] Some of the main topics of the field are moral judgment, moral reasoning, moral sensitivity, moral responsibility, moral motivation, moral identity, moral action, moral development, moral diversity, moral character (especially as related to virtue ethics), altruism, psychological egoism, moral luck, and moral disagreement.[3] Moral psychology is a novel branch within the field of psychology.

Neuropsychology. Neuropsychology studies the structure and function of the brain as they relate to specific psychological processes and behaviors. It is seen as a clinical and experimental field of psychology that aims to study, assess, understand and treat behaviors directly related to brain functioning. The term neuropsychology has been applied to lesion studies in humans and animals. It has also been applied to efforts to record electrical activity from individual cells (or groups of cells) in higher primates (including some studies of human patients).[1] It is scientific in its approach, making use of neuroscience, and shares an information processing view of the mind with cognitive psychology and cognitive science. History[edit] Imhotep[edit] The study of the brain can be linked all the way back to around 3500 B.C.

Positive Psychology. Psycholinguistics. Psycholinguistics or psychology of language is the study of the psychological and neurobiological factors that enable humans to acquire, use, comprehend and produce language. [1] Initial forays into psycholinguistics were largely philosophical ventures, due mainly to a lack of cohesive data on how the human brain functioned. Modern research makes use of biology, neuroscience, cognitive science, linguistics, and information theory to study how the brain processes language. There are a number of subdisciplines with non-invasive techniques for studying the neurological workings of the brain; for example, neurolinguistics has become a field in its own right. Psychopharmacology. An arrangement of psychoactive drugs The field of psychopharmacology studies a wide range of substances with various types of psychoactive properties, focusing primarily on the chemical interactions with the brain.

Psychoactive drugs interact with particular target sites or receptors found in the nervous system to induce widespread changes in physiological or psychological functions. The specific interaction between drugs and their receptors is referred to as "drug action", and the widespread changes in physiological or psychological function is referred to as "drug effect". These drugs may originate from natural sources such as plants and animals, or from artificial sources such as chemical synthesis in the laboratory. Historical overview[edit] Early psychopharmacology[edit] The common muscimol-bearing mushroom Amanita muscaria, also known as the "Fly Agaric" Psychology of science. Psychology of self.

Sex and psychology. Word-preference is one factor where males and females differ (as in this chart of word use which may distinguish males or females in social media). Are such differences due to underlying sexually dimorphic adaptations ("sex differences"), or, are they due to differences in socialization of a monomorphic trait ("gender differences")?

Transpersonal psychology.